Bill Gates Summary notes (posted as taken) (photos)

Changing experience as web evolves and "website" and "app" concepts merge
 - includes broadband
 - is cross-device
  - Media Centre PC or MCPC Extender ("10-foot experience")
  - mobile phone
 - often involves multimodal input (incl. voice)

2 categories of experience
- experience through browser
- "beyond the browser" - phone, Media Centre, other target devices
  - take both these worlds and integrate back to DB

IE7
- Streamlined UI
- security, incl. low rights mode, phishing blocker, new certificates
- Platform: CSS, RSS, transparent png, etc.

- expecting strong uptake of IE7 - free download and included in Vista
- Doing a 'mea culpa' on the fact it's been too long coming
- it's not the end of the line - great opportunities in the browser versions beyond IE7

RSS
- Simple List Extensions
- predict significant increase in RSS
- making it easier to manage feeds so they show up in the right places
  - like the e-mail rules in Outlook
- going beyond textual format

Web Services
- E-Bay an extreme example
- websites are like components in a software application
- WCF (codenamed Indigo) and strong industry support for WS-* standards
- Ray Ozzie: Clipboard analogy and modularity

Client-side web development
- Atlas framework
- Scripting and DHTML support since 1997 in browser
- MS were early adopters with Outlook Web Access!
- Office going beyond Outlook with Infopath and Excel - takes browser and add rich caps

WPF
- Atlas takes web to the next level, but WPF raises the ceiling
- Available on Vista and XP
- Integrating parts of pipeline, exploits hardware power
- Declarative model improves productivity

"Beyond Browsing"
- Vista Gadget Bar
- MS Office extensibility
- Media Centre (sold 6M units last year, up to 38% of PC sales in Dec)
- XBox360 as Media Centre Extender driving Media Centre
- Mobile environment - showed new PPC, Smartphone form factors.  And of course
- Origami
 - runs full Windows
 - works with pen

"Live software"
- software running on devices but connected
- new business models
 - ads
 - transaction fees
 - subscriptions

Expression Tools
- integrating designer audience

2 Examples:

1. Aber Whitcomb, CTO, MySpace.com
- 65m registered members (#2 trafficed site on net, passing google, ebay, MSN)
- using SQL Server 2005 and ASP 2.0
- next-gen portal, social networking platform

- 9m members - converted to ASP.NET
 - saw significant perf gains
 - tool advantage of full OO
- 17M members - launched middle tier cache with ASP.NET
 - 64bit asp.net, used huge amounts of ram, reduced server count
- 26M Members - SQL Server 2005 64Bit

- MySpace Home Profile page .NET 2.0 perf gains
 - Reduced CPU usage from 85% to 27%
 - Reduced web farm from 246 servers to 150

- demo: photo experience off the broswer using sidebar
 - once logged into the gadget, displays photos there

- "Profile 2.0": using Atlas, present public profile to world visually
 - Atlas, 2 evenings, 2 devs, converted Ajax app to Atlas

 

2. Ashley Highfield, Director of New Media and Technology, BBC
- over half of people in UK visit BBC site every month
- expectation that television can be on same terms as music: on demand
- distribution - ability to watch content offline for a week
- digital rights management - sophisticated, bifurcated by territory

- BBC gadget
 - click and receive a gateway to a week's worth of content
 - showed navigating straight to content
 - showed sharing of content with a contact
 - streamed HDTV to Media Centre PC

- Final hurdles?
 - content coming to PC screen.
 - want to exploit BBC archive - how to add metadata and search?

 

Calls to Action
- Get ready for IE7
- Improve sites with "Mash-Up" functionality of Atlas
- Elevate experiences
- Integrate design and developer skills

 

Bill and Tim Tim O'Reilly interview
Tim: Microsoft's "Live sofware" == "Web 2.0" == the evolution of the internet as a platform
Tim: notes that early web 2.0 apps didn't use the technologies we are discussing today
Bill: Yes, experimentation and excitement don't require them, but new technologies significantly lower the barriers to entry
Tim: Does MS see multiple vendors providing services... or will there be another Win32, "one API to rule them all?"
Bill: There'll be an integration benefit in Windows environment but there will always be 3rd-parties, and the amount of code used as building blocks for other apps was phenomenal.
Tim: To what extent will the MS tools favour MS sites?
Bill: Everything we do has to be flexible.  All interop standards (XML, SOAP, WS-*) are free to use.  Now SLE.
Tim: Semantic web is finally happening.
Bill: [notes importance of standard semantics]
Tim: Network apps get better the more people use them.  The users making links is the raw material of the web, and search techniques used by google, flickr, del.icio.us.  Thus, sites are enriched by everyone's activity.  Does that spill over to other areas too?
Bill: "The more users, the more valuable" is a ubiquitous concept.  Office add-ons, third-party tools -- really as a business efect this created MS. 
Tim: No, that's Web 1.0.  I mean more about getting feedback behind scenes to improve...
Bill: Modern examples: Analysis of malfunctioning drivers has made a huge diffrence to MS experience.  The Help text on the web is improved by feedback.  Connecting in to community is the spirit. 
Tim: Those are explicit uses -- what about implicit, like anti-phishing in IE7.  "Harnessing collective intelligence."
Bill: [explains anti-phishing in IE7]
Tim: How much is that part of your strategy?  Outlook is a real refletion of social networks for many people...
Bill: There's a lot of rich data Outlook sees that can help you in your communications.  Make it easy to share schedules, track activities... lots coming, and we can go further
Tim: Live Messenger features are an example.  On Web 2.0 theme, it seems data, rather than APIs, is where the value is.  Insurance example - power of data.
Bill: Data for something like Navdec [sp] could be at risk from user-inputted data
Tim: You have a history of knocking competitors out of the ring.  But new competition has a very different business model.  Google ads, Apple hardware+data, etc.  How do you see that changing the software business?
Bill: MS has done more to bring software prices down than any other company.  Free software doesn't stand up in terms of integration, support, etc. 
Tim: Netscape...
Bill: There were a lot of these so-called fights where the other guy knocked himself out [laughter]
Tim: ITunes interesting b/c of integration.
Bill: Yes we have a different business model; we aren't device-centric.  Bring in experience with different devices.  What is your "Calendaring" experience or "get your sport score" experience across all of these devices?  Can't I authenticate off my friend's phone as well?
Tim: "Cross-device support" + "Experience" = Adobe. 
Bill: When it comes to presentation libraries like WPF-E...
Tim: Isn't this more complicated-- there are intermediaries who decide what's going to be on the device?
Bill: A lot of discussion. Breakthroughs like speech or image rec will end up on devices.
Tim: We're hearing talk of 2-tiered internet where people want to charge for different services.  Sounds like phone companies
Bill: They have huge capital investments to make, and if they see opportunities where bandwidth allows huge HD video, that's great.  Getting the telcos to go for that new level is very important.
Tim: As a publisher, cares about people reading in future.  Tablet PCs, reading devices... I thought it was about huge databases... how does it pan out?
Bill: Magic thresholds of usability change behaviors.  We got there with music.  We're getting there with movies.  Academic "remixes" of information a great example.  (Tim: Like Safari U). 
Tim: Last Q on Web 2.0 - speed of release - flickr releases every 30 minutes, and everything's in perpetual beta.  How to play in that world?
Bill: It varies substantially by the type of software you're talking about.  SQL is not going to be released that often!  Testing (compatibility, etc.) has to be incredible.  Likewise kernel of OS.  As a contrast, Browser needs to be very active.  MSN Messenger a great example: 3 releases a year.
Tim: But - business model - do you need people to upgrade?  Office Live?
Bill: Office Live is more about revolutionizing the server side of Office.

Q&A
Shouted from floor: Please open up your systems (Contact APIs etc) so we can do things like send things to our contacts!
Bill: Making that address book rich and sharing it across apps is something we're doing in Vista.
Bernard, Kronos: When I hear a new version of IE every few months, that worries me.  IE is a platform for us.
Bill: Key point Dean will touch on.  Browser is part of platform.
Michael, Mindjet: MS has good emphasis on consistency.
Bill: Templated approach in WPF allows dynamic layouts
[missed name]: Those on WS
Bill: Creating new opportunities for companies is key to MS.
Shannon Clark: Are you going to be changing pricing and licensing models, so we can understand how to scale to a MySpace?
Bill: Cost to MySpace of our tools is a rounding error for them.  Tools are there to enable, not something that's expensive.  SQL: From free version (Express) all the way up to enterprise version.

I am also suffering from not enough power!